Tragedy strikes twice: Barnsdall, Oklahoma, hit by 2nd tornado in 5 weeks

At least one person is dead after an outburst of severe weather blitzed the central United States late Monday into Monday night, including an EF4 twister that hit Barnsdall, Oklahoma, marking the second time this year the town was hit by a tornado.

"It is a small town and it just pretty much went right through the center of it," Osage County Undersheriff Gary Upton told The Associated Press about Barnsdall, located about 40 miles north of Tulsa.

One person is dead and another is missing after the nocturnal tornado ripped through the town, according to officials. The devastation comes just five weeks after a tornado damaged homes in Barnsdall on April 1.

First light on Tuesday revealed the destruction caused by the powerful twister hours before under the veil of darkness, which caused homes to crumble, tossed vehicles and reduced trees to tall, leaf-less stumps. The tornado has been given a preliminary rating of EF4 following a damage survey by the National Weather Service, but more surveys and assessments are planned for the coming days.

The same tornado also tore through Bartlesville, Oklahoma, located about 20 miles away from Barnsdall.

A person at a hotel in Bartlesville captured a heart-pounding video of the moment when the tornado hit the town of 38,000 people. At the start of the video, the person was recording wind-driven rain in the parking lot, but a power flash sent the onlookers running for cover. The winds were so intense that pieces of wood pierced the walls of the hotel.

May has been off to a lightning-fast start in terms of severe weather, as AccuWeather predicted when it released the annual U.S. tornado forecast in early March.

Through the first six days of the month, there have been nearly 600 preliminary reports of severe weather across the United States, which includes over 50 preliminary tornado reports. And more damaging thunderstorms are likely through the end of the week.

Wednesday could be the most dangerous day of the week with more than 125 million people at risk of severe weather from Texas to Maryland. "It may not take long for severe thunderstorms to begin producing tornadoes on Wednesday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

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